16 April 2012

A groundbreaking new approach to supporting young people with disabilities and learning difficulties will be explored at an event taking place tomorrow (17th April).

Northamptonshire County Council is setting up a new transitions service which will support disabled young people aged from 14 to 25 in the journey from childhood to adult life.

The county council is one of the first in the country to take this new approach which will replace the existing arrangement of having separate services for disabled young people and young adults. This means young people will have the same team support them as they get older and progress into adulthood.

To make sure the new service is designed by the people who need it, a Transitions Summit will take place on 17th April involving young people, their families and carers including past, current and future service users.

The event will see them work with staff from the new transitions service and representatives from health, education, housing and leisure organisations to design a vision which will identify what the service should achieve for young people in Northamptonshire.

The summit will be a creative and practical day where young people and their families will be encouraged to bring their experiences, their opinions and their hopes for the future.

Cabinet member for health and adult social services Councillor Robin Brown said: “Any parent or carer knows the challenges a young person might face as they progress from childhood into adulthood, and this is even more significant for young people with disabilities or learning difficulties.

“The new transitions service is a truly innovative approach to supporting these young people. We want each person to have a positive experience as they grow up and become adults, helping them to achieve a good quality of life and successfully moving them on to education, employment or training opportunities.”

Councillor Andrew Grant, cabinet member for children, learning and skills said: “This is also about providing personalised services to young people so that alongside their parents and carers, they have more choice and control over the way they live their lives.

“We want to create an excellent transitions service in Northamptonshire so it is vital that it is designed by the people who know what is needed. The upcoming summit event is a great opportunity to for everyone to get involved and help us to create the very best services for the county’s young people.”